Despite parents best efforts to educate their teenagers about the harmful effects of binge drinking, far too many kids will not heed those warnings and end up becoming a statistic. Debbie Allen knows that all too well, as she lost her teenage daughter Shelby at the age of 17 back in 2008. Shelby was on a mission to down 15 vodka shots on the night of her death, and she wound up getting violently ill. As Good Housekeeping shares, her friends inadvertently left her to ‘sleep it off,’ and Shelby would pass away.
Debbie has understandably been tortured ever since.
“We second-guessed everything we did that day. If only we had said she couldn’t spend the night at Alyssa’s house. If only we had banned sleepovers altogether,” she explains.
She’s referring to Shelby’s friend Alyssa. Debbie and her husband allowed Shelby to sleep out that night, and the evening turned into a binge-drinking session once they were without adult supervision. Shelby pounded vodka and wound up in the bathroom because she was so ill. Her body was found the next morning.
My stance is that teens shouldn’t experiment with alcohol, which means they shouldn’t drink at all, because what they wind up doing is seeing how much they can drink before they pass out or get sick. They don’t think of alcohol as something that can kill you,” Alyssa said.
Debbie and Alyssa have both become advocates for warning others about the perils of binge drinking. While it helps her feel as if she is doing something to help prevent avoidable deaths, it does little to quell her pain.
“Every time I give a presentation, it’s painful. My grief has not lessened. In some ways, it has grown as time has passed. No one’s child should have to die on a cold bathroom floor while parents sleep warm in beds nearby. I’m determined to save kids’ lives. Not my kid’s. It’s too late for my kid. Other people’s kids. Your kid,” Debbie continues.
Source: Good Housekeeping
Photo: YouTube via International Journal Review